Inbound Marketing Vs Outbound Marketing:

 Inbound Marketing Vs Outbound Marketing
Inbound Marketing Vs Outbound Marketing

If you are in the Marketing field you should have come across Inbound Marketing Vs Outbound Marketing.

Before getting into the actual difference between Inbound and Outbound Marketing.

There are lots of misconception theory in this topic 

Many new marketers think that Inbound is online Marketing and Outbound is Traditional Marketing. This is totally wrong.

This theory may be right 10 or 20 years before. During those days most of the marketers do Marketing only through the traditional Marketing system.

After the Internet penetration, the perspective towards Marketing has entirely changed and was called as Inbound and Outbound Marketing.

But even traditional Marketing also has both Inbound and Outbound.

I clearly define that “You can’t determine a Marketing strategy based on the channels it is marketed.”

Difference between Inbound Marketing and Outbound Marketing:

Difference between Inbound Marketing and Outbound Marketing
Difference between Inbound Marketing and Outbound Marketing

Inbound is something where customers come to us. While Outbound where we go out in search of the customers.

Let’s have an example of Inbound Marketing. I am searching out a Specific Smartphone. 

I go directly into a Mobile showroom and ask for a Smartphone.

You can clearly see that my intent in buying a product (Smartphone) is clear.

If the shopkeeper says “Yes that phone is available” I end up buying it. If he says no I have to look for another shop.

This is Inbound Marketing. The Customer themselves comes to us because they are looking for a product.

While Outbound, I may be sitting at my Home, Some Sales person knocks at my door and he explains about a product which probably I don’t know.

Most people who read this article have also experienced this situation.

Here I don’t have an interest or intent on that product which the person shows to me. But he may convince me to buy that.

This is an Outbound strategy. As a marketer, we need to find the customer who is the right person to buy our product.

I think I clearly explained about the Marketing theory behind Inbound Vs Outbound Marketing.

Inbound is Pulling the customer and Outbound is something Pushing the customer.

Inbound Marketing versus Outbound Marketing:

Let’s dig the deep, now

Inbound Marketing is always considered as Content Marketing because you are creating value through your content.

Before buying the product you earn the people’s interest. The content that you are creating should be related to what the people search for.

On the other hand, Outbound Marketing is called interrupting Marketing.

Here you are not adding any value. You are just interrupting the customer to promote your product.

Some of the Inbound Marketing channels are Blog posts, YouTube, podcasts, and eBooks.

Social media, Banner ads, cold emails, cold calls, billboards, Flairs are some of the Outbound Marketing channels.

Inbound Marketing always has a lower search volume but it has high intent. On the other hand, Outbound has high volume but only low intent.

Communication in Inbound Marketing is in two ways.

Here in Inbound, you start a conversation with a Person. If the person likes what you say they are really interested in building up the conversation with you.

In Outbound, it’s mostly a one way of communication because you are just promoting your product. Where most people don’t want to build a conversation as they have no interest in what you say?

Inbound Marketing tactics:

Inbound Marketing tactics
Inbound Marketing tactics

Till here we all understood the Inbound Marketing Outbound Marketing difference.

Now it’s time to understand the tactics behind each Marketing strategy.

Inbound it’s all about the Right Content, Right Time, and Creativity. Your creative content is just a magnet to attract customers.

To create these kinds of creative content like blog posts, eBooks, Podcasts, or Youtube videos you need to spend a lot of time and energy.

And remember that these created content doesn’t give any sales directly. It’s just a road to your sales.

Marketing legends always say that Inbound tactics are like  Fish and Worm.

They promote the theory called Inbound Fish and Worm theory.

You are creating creative content and your creative content is like a worm and the customer is like fish.

Imagine that when you go fishing. You use a small Worm to capture a big fish. Likewise use Creative content (Worm) to capture a good Customer(Big fish).

Give what the fish-like. Don’t give what you like? If the fish like a piece of bread, give that? If not, the fish will not come to you.

The same formula applies for Inbound Marketing. Give what the customer likes? Don’t give what you like?

If you don’t do that no one is going to be your customer.

Create the content or the product based on the Customer’s interest which they already look for.

If your content is going to help the customers they are going to give their interest before giving you the money.

Gaining customer interest and selling your product is an Inbound Marketing style.

Outbound Marketing tactics:

Outbound Marketing tactics
Outbound Marketing tactics

The Outbound Marketing style is completely different from Inbound.

Creative content or effort doesn’t play the game here. Money plays a major role in Outbound.

In offline the Outbound tactics may not require money. But when I say online money is the king.

Tactics are simple in Outbound Marketing you need to convince the customer to buy a product which in most cases they don’t know the product.

As I already mentioned it’s an interrupting Marketing. You need to interrupt the people to show your product.

Whether it’s online or offline interruption you need to interrupt.

Targeting is the key factor. You are targeting a general audience based on their general interest.

Where someone in that general group is going to become your customer. It can occur on any platform.

You may be watching a Television in-between the program an ad interrupts you it’s an Outbound Marketing.

You may be using a social media platform like Facebook or Instagram you are interrupting by putting an ad product in-between. It’s an Outbound Marketing process.

YouTube skip ad also comes under Outbound Marketing.

When you read a blog post you are interrupted by a banner in-between the content which is an Outbound tactic.

Cold calls and cold emails are also part of Outbound Marketing.

You may wonder how these people get these details. It’s very easy, People pay money for ads or buy a list of cold phone numbers or emails.

Likewise, you are selling your products through ads. You need to pay for the ad 

Outbound, you need to have a good marketing funnel. It helps you to convert the general customer to a loyal customer.

Inbound Marketing Vs Outbound Marketing: Who is the winner?

If you are up to this line. You must itself have probably concluded that Inbound Marketing is the winner and end up saying that I should go only for Inbound not Outbound.

Understand that both these tactics have both advantages and disadvantages.

Inbound Marketing may attract really good customers. It has better timing, No cold calls, all the advantages are really good.

But Inbound is a very slow process. You need to wait a long time with patience. You can’t directly expect a sale in the Inbound technique.

As in Outbound not all the people who you interrupt are going to convert into customers. It’s the same in Inbound as well.

Not all the people who read your blog post are going to become your customer. Not all the people who buy your free eBooks are going to become your customers.

However, when compared to Outbound the conversion rate in Inbound is less.

While Outbound also has its own advantages and disadvantages. Outbound has better targeting than Inbound.

Outbound is scalable, For example, you can scale your site visitors when you run ads in Facebook ads and as you are paying money you may get immediate sales too. This is not possible in Inbound.

More expensive, reaching the right people at the wrong time, cold leads are some of the disadvantages in Outbound as well.

The winner in Inbound Vs Outbound Marketing is determined based on the situation.

Mistakes that we need to avoid:

Mistakes that we need to avoid

If you are confused about which one should I choose, an experienced marketer says that use both which will be more effective.

I believe that too. At the same time, I think people make mistakes here.

Some businesses need only Outbound where they go and do Inbound. Some need Inbound where they go for Outbound.

When you are introducing a new product you start with Outbound. After that go for Inbound.

Sometimes Outbound activities like ads don’t work even though people keep on spending money on ads such times you should understand that this market is for inbound not outbound

So always use Inbound and Outbound Marketing tactics at a ratio of 70:30.


Spend money or spend time there are only two options. The choice is yours

The conclusion is just easy if you have a new product and if you have some money that you can spend on advertising go for that outbound

When you don’t have money for ads and if people have an interest in your product. Spend some time and effort into creating good content.

If you have both do that. The effectiveness can be more. You may be asking Google ads is Inbound or Outbound?. Google search ads and Youtube search ads are exceptional cases.

It’s in-between both Inbound and Outbound. Ads may be Outbound but it appears on the search engine where you get both high intent and high volume too.

I hope you learned a lot through this article.

So please comment which one of the Marketing tactics you use whether it’s Inbound Or Outbound.

Any question don’t forget to ask in the comment section.

About the author: AVINASH P

Avinash is a Professional Digital Marketer from India. In the field of Digital Marketing, he is an Author and Trainer. He runs an agency called BrightWolf Media. He answers about Online Marketing

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